Bounty of Herbs
This year I’m celebrating pretty much everything that grows in my garden – as I think everyone should.
Happily, I’ve never had trouble growing herbs. Which means, I love, love, love growing just about all of them!
This weekend, along with these gorgeous tomatoes and some more tasty strawberries,
I gathered some
which can be planted in Spring and again in late Summer.
This herb is one of the easiest herbs to grow from seeds sown directly in your garden. This entire plant is edible. Of course, I love the leaves in salsa and salads, but you can use the roots in stir-fries.
If you let this herb go to seed, you can harvest the seeds – which are known as the spice coriander.
I also picked some mint.
This is spearmint – one of my favorites for making tea. I also use the leaves in salads and, of course, mojitos – alcoholic and also… did you know it tastes good in iced coffee – a sort of coffee mojito.
Mint is also easy to dry, so you can save the leaves for making teas in the future. Mint seems to season well here, in this climate, over the winter. Be careful though, mint can be an aggressive spreader. So, your best bet might be to keep it planted in pots.
Thyme is another herb I cut some sprigs of this weekend.
A lot of my thyme I grow from cuttings that I set in water until they grow roots. It’s amazing how easy it is. In fact, many herbs can be propagated this way. Just make clean cuttings and place them in a vase or glass of water. Replenish the water every couple of days until a nice group of roots have grown. The rooted cuttings can then be transplanted into your garden or into pots of soil where they’ll continue growing.
Cooking with thyme boosts the flavor of a lot of the vegetables I cook. Also, the oil in thyme can help break down the fats in many foods making them more digestable. (a tip from the magazine Natural Home and Garden).
Finally, this weekend, I picked a bunch of lavender blooms. WOW, all of them smell just simply lovely.
Lavender has many uses. I’m sure you’ve heard of it’s calming effects. I love to just harvest the little purple buds and save them to place in sachets and in bath tea bags to run under the faucet for a relaxing bath time. You can also simply place some sprigs on your pillow to give it a nice calming scent before bedtime.
To keep herbs I pick at the ready, I usually just place them in a vase in the kitchen. Then they’re there to smell yummy and be used when the time comes.
I’d love to hear what herbs you’re having luck growing and what you’re doing with them…making vinegars, oils, etc. I’ll have more tips from other herbs I’ve been growing soon.